82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
Vivid and sumptous,
This review is from: Falling Angels (Paperback)
I avoided reading this for a long time, because I had read mixed reviews on Amazon about it and I was afraid I would be disappointed. I didn't want to knock Chevalier from the pedal stool I put her on after reading 'Girl'.
I'm glad I took the risk. On page four, I realised I was utterly hooked.
Falling Angels follows the lives of two very different best friends from five years old through to their teens. Lavinia is spoilt, beautiful yet insecure about her families' (slight) lack of wealth. Maude is plain but intelligent and compassionate, well off but unaware of it.
Each chapter is taken from different characters points of view - the girls, their parents and families, cooks and maids. This is where Chevalier shines - the plot is never confused or lost amongst all these different voices. These shifting view points only add to the compelling story.
The book starts with the death of Queen Victoria and the new ruling of King Edward. Chevalier weaves slow, subtle social changes of the Edwardian era into the storylines and quietly looks at how it affects the characters. The Sufragettes movement is largely featured, Maudes mother becomes involved and quickly becomes consumed by it. You feel Edwardian London coming to life around you.
Chevaliers' talent is creating atmosphere and stillness in very ordinary situations and simmering them to boiling point. She can build and inject pressure effortlessly.
I have never had any interest in historic novels but Chevalier could write about a sheet of blank paper and you would devour it!
The fans of 'Girl' do not think this is a modern classic, and maybe it cant live up to 'Girl', yet it has all the terrific Chevalier magic. That makes it a worthy read in my eyes.
Don't get caught up in comparing it with 'Girl' with 'Falling Angels' its not worse, it's just different. This is a divine little book to get lost in, I couldn't recommend it more.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Nov 2014 12:40:16 GMT
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2014 19:03:36 GMT
pedestal. To be fair I wrote this review 12 years ago as a child!
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